I've been asked several times why healthy living (whole food, gluten free, non-toxic) is so important to me. So much so, in fact, that I am dedicating part of my life to helping others realize how good they can feel if they make a few changes to their nutrition and lifestyle. There are several reasons, but ONE reason resonates louder than all the others for me.
I have a strong family history of cancer. My brother died of Leukemia at the age of twelve. Four out of my nine aunts (my mom is one of fourteen children) have had cancer. That's 40% of the women on that side of the family, in case you needed help with the math, and that is a strong percent.
Bottom line, it's there. I know it's there. By that, I mean I know I have cancer cells floating all throughout my body. You do too, actually. We all do. It's a truth we don't really talk about because, for some of us, those cells will never get "triggered" and actually turn into a cancerous tumor. For many others, it's the thing they spend every day of their life wondering why they have it, how to cure it, and what is going to happen next (if they are in remission, there's something in the back of their mind constantly wondering if and when it will come back).
Because of cancer, I choose to have a "healthier lifestyle" full of whole food, less processed sugar, essential oils, and sweaty exercise (to name a few). All of these have something in common. They are simple. They are from the earth, and they are helping us go back to the "basics." A healthy lifestyle doesn't have to be complicated or look super hard-core. In fact, it shouldn't.
I explained it to my husband the other day like this...
I can't take the cancer cells out of my body, so I'm going to do my best to avoid any "toxic" food or chemicals that may trigger growth in those cells. Not only avoiding the toxic stuff, but consciously feeding my body with nutrients (antioxidants, various spices, less animal protein) that will aid in keeping those crazy cells calm, healthy, and at bay. With every teaspoon of turmeric, I'm basically saying, "Calm the hell down, cancer cells." Ha! ;)
To say there has been a vast amount of cancer research would be an understatement. With that research, there are definitely controversial statements being made about what causes cancer and how to cure it. I like this article that MD Anderson posted: Does Cancer Love Sugar? I like it because they are being realistic and encourage having a balanced mentality with all of this. Too many people hear something like, "Sugar feeds cancer?? No more sugar. Ever!"
When you tell yourself that, you are automatically putting your mind in a state of "Oh, I can't have that! Ooh, I want that," state. The fact that you are depriving yourself of something is what makes you constantly think about it, and THAT is counter-productive, my friends. It's all about balance.
This is why I choose a balanced, healthy lifestyle. It's not because I'm trying to prove something or that I want to look better than anyone else. (I laughed when I wrote that because it really is comical - I don't have the time or emotional capacity to care about looking better than you, trust me. All good here.) It has everything to do with feeling strong and healthy, so that I can rid my body of any diseases and hopefully avoid them altogether.
Even if one day I get that gut-wrenching diagnosis, at least I know I'll have done all I can to stay strong until I have to fight that battle.